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Safe Research & Compliance Training

What training is required for a researcher (anyone who does research in a non-clinical lab) at UConn Health?

All New Employees

  • Attend New Employee Orientation on alternating Fridays. Call Human Resources at 860-679-2426 to answer any questions about the orientation program. This orientation contains several important safety trainings provided by Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) including especially the Initial Bloodborne Pathogen Training and a basic Safety overview (personal protective equipment, lock-out/tag-out, radiation safety, chemical safety, etc.)
  • Receive free medical evaluation and consultation about their health relative to their new job at Employee Health Services (EHS) in The Outpatient Pavilion, Second Floor East. It is best if new employees know some details about their duties to make this opportunity most efficient and effective. For example, if you know you will be working with laboratory animals, you will need to have a pre-animal use and respirator medical clearance through EHS. To make an appointment, call 860-679-2893 and leave your contact information. Someone in EHS will return your call. When you go to your appointment, make sure to bring with you your immunization records and TB Skin Test screening results documentation if they are available.

All Research Laboratory Personnel

  • Including PIs, Lab Supervisors, Postdocs, Research Associates and Assistants, Students, Volunteers, Visiting Workers and Trainees, all are required to take Laboratory Safety Training offered by Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). Contact Liz Pokorski at 860-679-2723 with questions. This training covers an overview of basic lab safety and compliance, chemical safety, waste management, and biosafety.

Other trainings may be required (or available) depending on the activities researchers are engaged in…

If you or your supervisee(s) work with:

Infectious Biological Agents or Select Agent Biological Toxins

  • Biosafety training for use of Infectious Biological Agents in research is required as part of the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) registration that is required for labs that use infectious agents. This computer-based biosafety training is available on this site as PDF files. Refresher training on new topics is recommended annually but required at least biannually. For labs that use viral vectors please contact the BSO for training recommendations.
  • Training for work with Select Agent Biological Toxins is required by UConn Health for work with listed toxins at amounts below the regulated limits. You must contact the BSO to place an order for any listed biological toxin. Contact the BSO at 860-679-3781.

Human Blood, Body Fluids, Tissues, Primary Cells or Cell Lines in Culture

  • Initial Bloodborne Pathogen Training is offered at New Employee Orientation (see above). For those who may be in contact with human blood, body fluids or tissues, annual refresher training is a legal requirement (OSHA). This may be accomplished by taking the on-line Annual OSHA Bloodborne Disease Refresher Training on the EH&S website (see training) or through SABA. View the OSHA interpretation of how human cells in culture are included in the Bloodborne Pathogen Law, if you work with any human cells in culture. There are also medical surveillance requirements under the Bloodborne Pathogen Law, having to do with Hepatitis B Virus immunizations. Individuals must contact the Employee Health Service (x2893) to find out if their bloodborne pathogen medical surveillance documentation is in order.

Non-human Primate (NHP) Blood, Body Fluids, Tissues, Primary Cells or Cell Lines in Culture

  • Work with NHP materials should be performed using the same precautions as work with human materials. Training for use of Standard (Universal) Precautions and/or BSL-2 procedures with human materials will parallel what needs to be trained for NHP materials.

Chemical Hazards

  • General Chemical Safety Training is offered upon request. The intended target audience is individuals who may be exposed to chemicals in a foreseeable emergency, but who do not actively work with chemicals on a daily basis. This training is not required for anyone who has taken the Laboratory Safety Training.

Lasers (Safety for Class III or Class IV Lasers)

  • Research and Non-Hospital Clinical Laser Use, contact Jim Fomenko at 860-679-2250 or fomenko@uchc.edu for training.
  • Hospital Clinical Laser Use, contact Gail Larkin at 860-679-3697 or glarkin@uchc.edu for training.

Radioactive Materials or Ionizing Radiation (e.g., X-ray Producing Instruments)

  • Radiation Safety. Training is required for work with anything that produces ionizing radiation. For questions, contact the Radiation Safety Officer, Jim Fomenko at 860-679-2250, fomenko@uchc.edu.

Respirators

  • Respirator Training is given with the fit testing procedure, the second of two requirements for obtaining the proper respirator. The first requirement is passing a medical evaluation. This is done by filling out a respirator medical evaluation form, available through either Employee Health Services or EH&S. If it has been determined by a healthcare provider that you are physically fit to wear a respirator, a medical approval form will be sent to EH&S and/or given to you. After receiving the medical approval form, EH&S, 860-679-2723, will perform the fit test and training.

Shipping or Receiving Any Hazardous Material (Such as Infectious Substances or Diagnostic Specimens)

  • Department of Transportation (DOT) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) trainings for proper shipping of hazardous materials are required. Contact Jim Fomenko at 860-679-2250 or fomenko@uchc.edu.
  • Contact the BSO for information on USDA or CDC Import permits and the determination of risk groups for organisms.

  • Additional basic information may be found here.

Animal Subjects (Institutional Animal Care and Use Commitee)

Human Subjects (Institutional Review Boards)

  • All personnel involved in the conduct or administration of human subject research are required to complete training in the protection of human subjects before such involvement occurs. Please contact the Human Subjects Protection Office for details.

The fine print – remember: as changes occur in activities and duties in the lab, research personnel may need updated, periodic or new safety/compliance training that covers new or sometimes ongoing work. Legally, PIs are ultimately responsible for training and safety of lab personnel. There should be duty-specific training (presented by the PI or experienced lab staff) that includes safety/compliance information addressing the personnel, the PI and the institution. It is a good idea for PIs to document staff training including having staff sign off on safety protocols that are kept available to staff in the lab. Institutionally required trainings are in addition to lab specific training, and the PI is responsible for seeing that their staff attends. When is the last time your lab discussed safety or compliance?